In honour of International Women’s Day 2015 – today’s post is all about the wonderful ladies at Green Creations!
On many a morning in Mah Doud – one of the oldest and poorest areas in the city of Aqaba, ladies can be heard singing, laughing, talking, and drinking tea while creating unique hand made items…all from trash.
As you walk by the Green Creations workshop you would never imagine the situations these ladies have had to deal with to make it here – divorced, orphaned, widowed, or married to a man who already has many wives, many struggling to pay for their family’s basic needs. Despite all their troubles, these ladies arrive with dignity and pride each day, empowered to craft jewellery and home decor products to provide for themselves and their family.
The purpose of this amazing company is to prepare the local people of Aqaba for the large changes taking place in their community and to help them not to be overlooked as tourism and industry expand by train individuals to use recycled materials to create green, income generating products: beads, jewellery, bags, bowls, purses, baskets and more.
Green Creations began in December 2009 with five hard working ladies who developed each component of each unique item. More than 70 ladies have been interviewed for the program which now employees 23 qualified ladies. Some of the ladies were happy to tell us about their experiences with the programme……
After starting at Green Creations, Jumana’s life is better! She has had the opportunity to learn new things, including English, a bit about computers, and how to make jewellery. Through working and interacting with foreigners, she has learned about different cultures. She has made lots of new friends and she says she is a stronger woman because of her position at Green Creations. Jumana isn’t just at home all the time, sad and worried about everything, but able to work and do something to better her situation.
As well as her job here at Green Creations Manal also works on a bus with small children. Her husband doesn’t have a job and she says he doesn’t want one. It is a huge source of tension in their family. Working at Green Creations has given her the opportunity to learn new things. She has gotten to know the other women and enjoys being with them. It gives her a reason to get up in the morning. With the money she earns from Green Creations she is able to pay for some of the basic household needs and also pay for her daughters to go to university. She is thankful that some of her girls are going to university.
“Green Creations aim to see a new generation of creative recycled products developed for the growing tourist market in Aqaba. More importantly we empower individuals who are trained to make a living on the growing tourist industry”
What can you do to help?
You can visit this wonderful company and join in with the ladies in a handicraft workshop, spend a few hours with them as they teach you to make some of their unique items and show you how everyday trash can be recycled and turned into some beautiful jewellery. After the session you can then visit the shop and help to support this fantastic company and it’s amazing women.
If you do not have time to take part in a workshop you can still see and purchase their products from their shop in Mah Doud – open Sunday to Thursday from 9:00 to 15:00 and from the Souk by the Sea next to Captain’s hotel in the city centre every Friday.
Above and Below Adventures are proud to be working with Green Creations to offer these unique handicraft sessions and cultural interactions and of course to support a great cause and help to empower the local ladies of Aqaba.